LP statement on Mike Gravel joining the Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party has issued a statement on the news broken at Third Party Watch that former Senator Mike Gravel has joined the LP.

“I’m joining the Libertarian Party because it is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can’t be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America,” said Gravel. “My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy.”

Libertarian National Committee member and former Congressman Bob Barr remarked about the situation.

“It is a distinct honor to have another former member of Congress within the Libertarian Party,” said Barr. “Just as Senator Gravel believes Democrats have lost touch with the American public, I too concluded Republicans had lost their core principles, and could no longer associate myself with the GOP. While coming from opposite sides of the aisle, Senator Gravel and I definitely agree on the fundamental need for systemic change in our political system, and that the only way we have of effecting that change is by supporting and working in the Libertarian Party, which is the only political party in America that consistently works in word and deed to maximize individual liberty and minimize government power.”

I’m not exactly sure of all of the rules of Third Party Poker. Does Senator of Democrats beat a pair of Republican Representatives?

“We’re honored to have a former member of the United States Senate join our ranks,” said Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory. “Senator Gravel has a sincere dedication to empowering the American people and eliminating the corrupting influence of the two major parties. His switch from the Democratic Party, as well as former Congressman Barr’s abandonment of the GOP, shows that the Libertarian Party is truly a big tent organization moving firmly in the direction of Liberty.”

Let me be the first to suggest that Senator Gravel would be a welcome addition on the Libertarian National Committee. Because of his experiences, he could become a valuable asset to the board. For what it’s worth, I’m sure I’ll get as much guff over this statement as I did when I was involved with getting Bob Barr to serve on the same board.

UPDATE: According to a comment left at the earlier Gravel/Libertarian Party article, Gravel may be considering some sort of a fusion-style Libertarian Party/Green Party presidential run.

The Senator will be investigating the opportunity to campaign to become the Libertarian candidate for President, however, this does not preclude his current Democratic campaign, nor does it make a run for the Green party impossible.

The Senator would like to become the ‘fusion’ candidate in this election

—J. Skyler McKinley
National Multimedia Coordinator
Mike Gravel for President 2008
smckinley@gravel2008.us

99 Responses to “LP statement on Mike Gravel joining the Libertarian Party”

  1. Brent Burk Says:

    Wow. This is why I don’t like political parties. I may agree on him on some things, but, from what I understand, the Libertarian party was created after Nixon got us completely off the Gold Standard. The anti-free market finally did the true Republicans in and made them form a new party. Now the party represents civil liberties and antimperalism with socialized government and foreign aid? (Troops to Darfur, even!)

  2. Eric Dondero Says:

    Well, thank God there are still some rational folks left in the Libertarian Party. Bob Barr gets it. Stephen Gordon gets it. Some of the posters on the other thread cynically questioning Gravel, obviously don’t get it.

    Against, Mr. Gravel is a FORMER TWO-TERM UNITED STATES SENATOR. This bring enormous credibility to the Libertarian Party. And from Alaska no less. The LP already has a reputation of having some elective wins in the past in Alaska. This just beefs that reputation up.

    You cynics need to just chill. Enjoy this very happy news for your Party. And I say this as a Republican. I’m happy for you all. For your efforts outside the GOP serve only to assist those of us who are Libertarian Republicans.

    Again, good job Libertarian Party, and everyone connected with this major victory today.

  3. Hugh Jass Says:

    I believe that Barr/Gravel would be an excellent ticket. It would united the conservative and liberal factions of the Libertarian Party, would be most likely to get the 800,000 Paulites, and could probably break 1,000,000 votes.

  4. Derek Says:

    I was looking into the possibility of a Barr/Gravel ticket by adding the vote totals Badnarik got in ‘04 and Paul has now in the ‘08 primaries. With Paul remaining in the GOP race, and states left to vote, I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul could get 1,000,000 votes (he has 843,000 adding the primary and caucus results). And I wonder if any cranky Democrat voters might want to send a message and give Gravel their votes. You never know!

  5. silver Republican Says:

    I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of Milnes’ happy place dream

  6. Andy Says:

    Well I must say that I am quite suprised at this development. Just a few months ago I saw some clip on YouTube where Gravel was speaking favorably about world government. I hope that he’s changed his stance on this issue and I hope that he’s got a clue about libertarian economic issues.

    “Let me be the first to suggest that Senator Gravel would be a welcome addition on the Libertarian National Committee. Because of his experiences, he could become a valuable asset to the board. For what it’s worth, I’m sure I’ll get as much guff over this statement as I did when I was involved with getting Bob Barr to serve on the same board.”

    Hey, it is nice that the guy joined the party, and I hope that he really understands the philosophy, but it is WAY too early to be offering him a spot on the National Committee. I thought that it was a bunch of crap when Bob Barr joined the party and went straight to the National Committee and I’ll say the same about this guy. It’s not like Barr or Gravel were really long time small “l” libertarians before this either. They should have to pay their dues like every other newbie.

    I mean damn, just a few weeks ago Gravel was a left wing “liberal” and now he joins the LP today and he’s already being talked about as a National Committee member. Talk about jumping the gun.

  7. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Hey, it is nice that the guy joined the party, and I hope that he really understands the philosophy, but it is WAY too early to be offering him a spot on the National Committee.

    Maybe I’m confused by having attended far too many LNC meetings, but what does where one scores on the Nolan Chart or how much Rothbard one has memorized have to do with sitting on a board that is administrative in nature? (recent LNC vote on the Iraq War notwithstanding)

    I thought being a board member consisted primarily of two functions: Ensuring that organizational missions are carried out and bringing additional resources to the LP table. Believe it or not, they don’t spend a lot of time at LNC meetings discussing the nuances of Libertarian policy. They try to ensure that resources are available to carry out that policy, though.

    Placing people like Barr, Gravel or some movie star or corporate CEo on the board accomplishes something else, too: It tells the general public that the Libertarian Party welcomes them.

    However, from the responses I’ve seen from a lot of people, I’ll suggest that the only people some want in the LP are people who score 10/10 on the Nolan Rothbard Chart.

  8. Stephen Gordon Says:

    I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of Milnes’ happy place dream

    LMAO

  9. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Let me be the first to suggest that Senator Gravel would be a welcome addition on the Libertarian National Committee.

    I guess I just do not understand that line of thinking.

    We have a former Senator who agrees with us on some issues. However, at last glance, he’s very un-libertarian on many other issues. So he joins the party and now you just want to throw him on the LNC?

  10. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Maybe I’m confused by having attended far too many LNC meetings, but what does where one scores on the Nolan Chart or how much Rothbard one has memorized have to do with sitting on a board that is administrative in nature?

    You’re right about the fact that the LNC is not an inherently policy orientated board. However, it’s not unreasonable to wish for the administrative functions (LNC) of the party to be carried out by those who wish for the ideological function to succeed. Gravel, notwithstanding changes in this economic policy, fits in the bill on only one track of issues.

  11. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Placing people like Barr, Gravel or some movie star or corporate CEo on the board accomplishes something else, too: It tells the general public that the Libertarian Party welcomes them.

    Gravel would not need to sit on the LNC to perform such outreach functions.

    However, from the responses I’ve seen from a lot of people, I’ll suggest that the only people some want in the LP are people who score 10/10 on the Nolan Rothbard Chart.

    There’s no question that is undoubtedly true among the anarchist wing of the party. However, I am neither an anarchist nor believe someone needs to be a “pure” (whatever that is) Libertarian to serve.

  12. Nigel Watt Says:

    I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of Milnes’ happy place dream

    Yeah, what the hell? No fusion candidates, no thank you.

  13. Mike Taylor Says:

    First Bob Barr (Well, I guess the ‘first’ would actually go to Dr. Paul but you get the idea). Now, Mike Gravel. Who says the LP can’t be a big tent party? After all, liberty and freedom mean something different to almost everyone. As long as we stick to our constitutional obligations once in office, we will continue to grow and do well as a major party.

  14. Robert Milnes Says:

    Wow! Just call me Mr. Cream Jeans!

  15. Dave Williams Says:

    Nigel, I agree. However, isn’t this a fusion party? I could see ROOT/PHILLIES ‘08.

  16. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Hold the presses! I’ve got to call Shane Cory and tell him to doublecheck the credentials of the staff. What if the person doing the books isn’t libertarian enough? What if the person in charge of development didn’t read Rothbard today? What if the cleaning people are statists, even?

    If you don’t believe me, ask some of the more radical members of the LNC —it’s not so much about policy. Ask Angela Keaton, Wes Benedict or Bob Barr.

    Which raises another point. For all of the complaints about Barr being on the LNC, he’s the one who votes WITH the more radical elements on the more controversial roll call votes.

    Perhaps that comes from having testicular fortitude (which is shared by Mangela and Wes) but sometimes lacking with some of the more blueblood LPers.

  17. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Gravel would not need to sit on the LNC to perform such outreach functions.

    It sure makes it easier, though.

  18. Robert Milnes Says:

    It is so nice to get stamped “Vindicated” instead of kicked to the curb.

  19. Steve Says:

    Coming from what I suppose you would call a “right-libertarian” let me say whole heartedly, welcome aboard Mike Gravel! I hope to see him out on the campaign trail rounding up some ex-leftist antiwar votes for Bob Barr (or Mary Ruwart or Steve Kubby). Or even better yet, our local candidates.

    But he does understand we’re not nominating him for president, right? I don’t want our tent to become so big that it includes support for what my European friends call “positive freedoms” like socialized medicine.

  20. Robert Milnes Says:

    Somebody offer me a paid position as Special Advisor. I’m tired of canned beans & Wal-Mart burritos.

  21. Steve Kubby Says:

    Senator Gravel,

    Welcome to the Party of Principle!. You’ve made a wise decision and we are honored to have you join us.

    Let freedom grow,

    Steve Kubby

  22. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Imagine this hypothetical scenario. I host a cocktail party and invite some influential people to it. We talk about them possible becoming board members in order to help the Libertarian Party become more prominent and effective.

    People in the room:

    Angelina Jolie was invited because of her role in the possible movie Atlas Shrugged. Charles Barkley is invited because of some pro-libertarian statements he’s made, John Mackey for the same reason. Penn Jillette endorsed Badnarik. Tucker Carlson has been cool to LP members, especially Michelle Shinghal and Loretta Nall.

    To the best of my knowledge, while all of these people are at least libertarian-friendly, none has ever paid a dime to the LP.

    I’ve heard at least one non-libertarian word escape the lips of all of these people.

    Most people in the real world would love to have successful CEOs, sports stars, movie stars, entertainers and media personalities on their board.

    Not some members of the LP, though. Of course, it’s OK if they join or pay money. But you can’t step to the front of the line. First, spend a few years at the monthly supper club with the guy who hasn’t showered in three weeks. Take your shirt off and protest taxes with all three of us on April 15 at the post office.

    Once you’ve proven yourself to the LP for a few years, you can move ahead—if we haven’t lost you, first.

    Personally, I’d much prefer the money, organizational skills, networking, and media these sorts of folks could provide the LP. But of course, I’m in the minority on this issue.

  23. Andy Says:

    “Maybe I’m confused by having attended far too many LNC meetings, but what does where one scores on the Nolan Chart or how much Rothbard one has memorized have to do with sitting on a board that is administrative in nature? (recent LNC vote on the Iraq War notwithstanding)

    I thought being a board member consisted primarily of two functions: Ensuring that organizational missions are carried out and bringing additional resources to the LP table. Believe it or not, they don’t spend a lot of time at LNC meetings discussing the nuances of Libertarian policy. They try to ensure that resources are available to carry out that policy, though.

    Placing people like Barr, Gravel or some movie star or corporate CEo on the board accomplishes something else, too: It tells the general public that the Libertarian Party welcomes them.

    However, from the responses I’ve seen from a lot of people, I’ll suggest that the only people some want in the LP are people who score 10/10 on the Nolan Rothbard Chart.”

    So we are so desperate for celebrity that anyone with even the tiniest bit of fame comes along and bats an eye at us and we should immediately make put that person on the National Committee, and maybe even make them our Grand PooBa (Flintstones reference).

    I remember several years back Anne Coulter briefly joined the Libertarian Party. Going by this logic I suppose that Anne Coulter should have been put on the National Committee, maybe she should have been National Chair or a candidate for President.

    And how about Bill Clinton? Didn’t he once call himself a libertarian and say “The era of big government was over.” The LP could certainly have gained a lot of publicity with a former President on the National Committee.

    How about Bill Maher? He’s called himself and been referred to by others as a libertarian on a bunch of occassions. Maybe he should be on the National Committee. How about Bill Maher for National Chair or President?

    I remember that Eric Dondero brought up that the New York Times and/or some other newspapers called Rudy Giuliani a libertarian. A former mayor of New York City would sound pretty impressive on the National Committee.

    Let’s just throw all standards out the window and hand people positions based soley on how well known they are!

  24. Dave Williams Says:

    DONDERO WROTE: Some of the posters on the other thread cynically questioning Gravel, obviously don’t get it.

    Eric,
    I don’t like Gravel for his Liberal Big Gov tag, but I get it. I remember the MSM punching him in the face in New Hampshire for wanting to legalize pot. He’s right of course, it should be legal. And it took brass balls to stand in front of cameras during a POTUS bid and say it. He may have flipped on some of his more Liberal views, good, I flipped on some of my more Rightest views. We all need to meet in the middle, put our extremisms aside, and fix this country.

    If we can continue to pull from other parties, pick up independents and can unite on our common disdain for ‘big government’, if nothing else, things will change. This could be the beginning of the end for the majors, the middle moderates speak.

    Or, on the other hand, these guys just realize the size of the power vaccum
    in the LP and are actually doing what many TPW posters criticize WAR for, being a self absorbed opportunist, rather than a libertarian.

  25. Jeff Wartman Says:

    I’ve heard at least one non-libertarian word escape the lips of all of these people.

    As it should. Anyone who agrees with any platform 100% is a mindless sheep.

    Not some members of the LP, though. Of course, it’s OK if they join or pay money. But you can’t step to the front of the line. First, spend a few years at the monthly supper club with the guy who hasn’t showered in three weeks. Take your shirt off and protest taxes with all three of us on April 15 at the post office.

    That’s not what I’m saying—what I’m saying is that you have to be careful about throwing invitations around to people who have already admitted they aren’t totally committed to libertarian ideology, as Gravel did through his National Multimedia Coordinator in saying he is also continuing his Democratic race and will look into whether to seek the Green Party nomination.

    I hope he becomes dedicated to the LP —that would be a GREAT thing for our movement! But lets take it one step at a time and not jump all over him just because he’s on the news.

    Personally, I’d much prefer the money, organization skills, networking, and media these sorts of folks could provide the LP. But of course, I’m in the minority on this issue.

    So do I. But you wouldn’t invite Barack Obama to join the LP if he loses the Democratic nomination, would you? He’s a civil libertarian and has a higher profile than Gravel.

  26. Fred C. Says:

    “Wow! Just call me Mr. Cream Jeans!”

    Is that what you wrote in those letters that got you in trouble?

  27. Dave Williams Says:

    S.G. WROTE: Not some members of the LP, though. Of course, it’s OK if they join or pay money. But you can’t step to the front of the line. First, spend a few years at the monthly supper club with the guy who hasn’t showered in three weeks. Take your shirt off and protest taxes with all three of us on April 15 at the post office.

    Sounds like ‘Fight Club’ initiation.

  28. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Andy and Jeff—remember that there is a voting procedure to be on the LNC. If someone isn’t sufficiently Libertarian, the delegates won’t elect the person.

    Additionally, I wouldn’t vote for Gravel for president unless he changed a few of his positions. I suggested a board seat might be reasonable, though.

  29. Andy Says:

    “Angelina Jolie was invited because of her role in the possible movie Atlas Shrugged. Charles Barkley is invited because of some pro-libertarian statements he’s made, John Mackey for the same reason. Penn Jillette endorsed Badnarik. Tucker Carlson has been cool to LP members, especially Michelle Shinghal and Loretta Nall.”

    From what I’ve read from John Mackey I’d like to see him run for a Libertarian Party nominee for something.

    No way on Angelina Jolie and Charles Barkley.

    Penn Jillette and Tucker Carlson have paid some lip service to libertarianism but I’ve got reservations about both of them.

    Now if Jolie, Barkley, Jillette, and Carlson want to send in their dues and become members of the party that’s one thing, but I would not vote for them for any offices or put them in any positions of authority. They could just be rank & file members who send in their dues.

    “To the best of my knowledge, while all of these people are at least libertarian-friendly, none has ever paid a dime to the LP.”

    Even if they did join as dues pay members it wouldn’t automatically qualify them to be in any position of leadership or to be candidates.

  30. Dave Williams Says:

    I still think the guy was a bit of a flake during the primaries. But, I guess 20 second CNN sound bits could make just about anyone look like a monkey.

  31. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Even if they did join as dues pay members it wouldn’t automatically qualify them to be in any position of leadership or to be candidates.

    Two points:

    1) I never suggested that I would vote for Gravel as a candidate. With candidates, issues and ideology are very important. However, I trust the convention delegates to make that decision.

    2) What is this big connection with being a board member to specifics of ideology? Heck, even Aaron Starr and Angela Keaton work well together on boards and such. It’s an organization and admin function, not an ideological one.

    Have you ever been to an LNC meeting—or even a board meeting for a major non-profit? I remember sitting in on a board meeting for a major commercial product and never even heard the primary product name mentioned (I’m sure it was on the graph labels of the sales reports).

  32. Robert Milnes Says:

    Fred C, no, those letters were to one lady eyes only to impress, not to a bunch of lunatic fringe anarcho-misfits because I’m depressed.

  33. Stephen Gordon Says:

    They could just be rank & file members who send in their dues.

    Then you’ll never get people who were busier being successful than reading Murray Rothbard on the board. At least well be able to have another 35 years of Rothbard literacy, but no significant accomplishments.

  34. Dave Williams Says:

    Went over to his site and checked out some videos… pro-gay rights…wants to cut back on the empire…

  35. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Then you’ll never get people who were busier being successful than reading Murray Rothbard on the board. At least well be able to have another 35 years of Rothbard literacy, but no significant accomplishments.

    To make something else clear, I supported (and pushed, until I became an employee) Angela Keaton to run for the LNC. However, she’s read Rothbard—but accomplishes things libertarian in her life.

    Board positions are for people to accomplish things (not debate their philosophical properties), and she’s becoming accustomed to the job. She’ll probably have my support for another two years.

    It’s about doing things, and what one has ACCOMPLISHED in the past is a pretty good indicator of what they will be able to accomplish on the board.

  36. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Penn Jillette and Tucker Carlson have paid some lip service to libertarianism but I’ve got reservations about both of them.

    Trying to think of why anyone would have reservations about Jillette—unless they call his magic act fraud. :)

  37. Dave Williams Says:

    Gravel on MSNBC, time 7:52 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC4-Gz-q9lc
    he’s talking some sense.

    Gravel during Dem debate, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy6SvkkS9T0&NR=1
    I watched this debate…a pissed off old white guy was what I came away with.

  38. Andy Says:

    “Have you ever been to an LNC meeting—”

    Yes, I’ve been to an LNC meeting and in all honesty I can’t say that I was very impressed.

    “Then you’ll never get people who were busier being successful than reading Murray Rothbard on the board. At least well be able to have another 35 years of Rothbard literacy, but no significant accomplishments.”

    In case you haven’t noticed, the LP DOESN’T HAVE ANY SIGNIFIGANT ACCOMPLISHEMENTS RIGHT NOW! Bob Barr is on the board and they can’t even achieve ballot access in South Dakota. Who have they elected to office since Bob Barr has been on board? LP candidates are not exactly setting the world on fire. So what, Bob Barr is on the LNC? It just shows that the LP is so desperate for attention that they stuck a guy on there who didn’t deserve to be on there. If Gravel is placed on the LNC it would show that their credibility has sunk to an even lower level.

    The LP shrunk for several years and right now the only thing that I can see saving it from an embarrassing David Bergland level vote total is if a bunch of people from the Ron Paul r3VOLUtion flood into the party, but that will be more because of Ron Paul and his activist than anything that the LP did.

    The fact that somebody invited the neo-con loving “Fraud Tax” pushing disinfo agent Neal Boortz to the LP Nationl Convention while Jim Duensing was stabbed in the back for inviting Dylan Avery of “Loose Change” fame to the State Chairs Conference show hows completely cluess LP National is. They ought to SHUN Boortz and welcome somebody like Dylan Avery with open arms.

  39. Dave Williams Says:

    The message on any pressing issue is important, but so is the candidates demeanor. This guy was running for POTUS? That may as well have been me up there in front of those cameras, I can get pretty pissed off at times, and make myself look like a…monkey.

    It’s clear that he was treated somewhat like a bastard child (just like RP), I do remember how Clinton, Edwards and Obama were always placed in the middle and fielded most of the questions.

  40. Nigel Watt Says:

    Imagine this hypothetical scenario. I host a cocktail party and invite some influential people to it. We talk about them possible becoming board members in order to help the Libertarian Party become more prominent and effective.

    People in the room:

    Angelina Jolie was invited because of her role in the possible movie Atlas Shrugged. Charles Barkley is invited

    Hold on, does this involve Charles Barkley throwing Daniel Imperato through a window? If so, Charles Barkley for LNC!

  41. Andy Says:

    “Trying to think of why anyone would have reservations about Jillette—unless they call his magic act fraud.”

    Because Penn Jillette claims that the official government fairy tale about 9/11 is true. This means that he’s either a fool or a liar.

    What’s next, the government told the truth about Waco? Saddam really had big stock piles of WMD that he was about to unleash on the US? The North Vietnamese really attacked US Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin? The Israeli military attack on the USS Liberty was really an accident? FDR had no idea that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor? Bill Clinton did not have sexual affairs with that woman, Miss Lewisnski?

  42. Stephen Gordon Says:

    The fact that somebody invited the neo-con loving “Fraud Tax” pushing disinfo agent Neal Boortz to the LP Nationl Convention while Jim Duensing was stabbed in the back for inviting Dylan Avery of “Loose Change” fame to the State Chairs Conference show hows completely cluess LP National is. They ought to SHUN Boortz and welcome somebody like Dylan Avery with open arms.

    So that’s what this is all about!

    To be clear, I’m not the biggest Boortz fan and I strongly disagree with his position on the Iraq War. However, I’ve placed people opposed to the Iraq War on his program.

    With respect to accomplishment, I’ll suggest that CONGRESSMAN Barr and ADMIRAL Colley have accomplished more in real life than all of the other board members put together.

  43. Dave Williams Says:

    Oh, I’m sorry…lol…I’m dissing this guy for being a little ‘feisty’ while the current GOP nominee ole ‘Fire n Brimstone’ McCain tours the Middle East…

  44. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Because Penn Jillette claims that the official government fairy tale about 9/11 is true. This means that he’s either a fool or a liar.

    I get it now. To be a true Libertarian, one must be a Troofer. After years of paying dues and Troofiness, they can sit on the LNC, too.

  45. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Oh, I’m sorry…lol…I’m dissing this guy for being a little ‘feisty’ while the current GOP nominee ole ‘Fire n Brimstone’ McCain tours the Middle East…

    Good one… :)

  46. Dave Williams Says:

    ANDY WROTE: Because Penn Jillette claims that the official government fairy tale about 9/11 is true. This means that he’s either a fool or a liar.

    Ahah! I knew we couldn’t make it through a thread w/o this bullshit coming up!

  47. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Going to bed—got to fly in a few hours—wake up call (that’s sorta military terminology for all of those who aren’t aware) is in less than 4 hours. Be back in a couple of days.

  48. Dave Williams Says:

    Nite G.

  49. Andy Says:

    “So that’s what this is all about!”

    This is just a small piece of the puzzle.

    “To be clear, I’m not the biggest Boortz fan and I strongly disagree with his position on the Iraq War. However, I’ve placed people opposed to the Iraq War on his program.”

    So what? People against the war in Iraq have been on all kinds of programs.

    Boortz is a PHONY Libertarian who gives libertarians a bad name, which is probably his intended purpose. Well, that and bringing in more like him to destroy the LP.

    Every time I see somebody with one of those stupid “Fair Tax” signs it makes me want to puke.

    The “Fair Tax” bandwagon is a pathetic joke.

    “With respect to accomplishment, I’ll suggest that CONGRESSMAN Barr and ADMIRAL Colley have accomplished more in real life than all of the other board members put together.”

    This doesn’t automatically qualify either of them to be on the LIBERTARIAN National Committee.

    I don’t care what a person has done outside of libertarian activism or what fancy titles they have next to their names.

  50. Andy Says:

    “I get it now. To be a true Libertarian, one must be a Troofer. After years of paying dues and Troofiness, they can sit on the LNC, too.”

    Yeah, it’s like the Libertarian Party is growing so much faster than the 9/11 Truth Movement. Oh, wait a minute, the exact opposite is happening…

  51. Jeff Wartman Says:

    The “Fair Tax” bandwagon is a pathetic joke.

    Why?

  52. Dave Williams Says:

    ANDY WROTE: The “Fair Tax” bandwagon is a pathetic joke.

    Yep.

  53. Dave Williams Says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118800635034508655.html
    FairTax, Flawed Tax
    By BRUCE BARTLETT
    August 25, 2007

  54. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Forgive me while I laugh at this.

    Gravel joining the LP is fine, but what kind of message would it send to have him, the third shoe in the DP race, run for Preisdent or even be on the LNC? It would send the message that the LP truly is not ready for prime time, so badly that we’d be running as prime candidates and advisors the major party castoffs. At least Barr doesn’t have that distinction.

    Sorry, but if Gravel runs for Pres on LP I won’t vote for him. If he runs for LNC and I have a vote (no idea if I do, I tend to stay clear of LNC stuff) I’d vote for Fred Flinstone instead.

    He needs to earn his spurs first. Past performance is no indicator of future results.

  55. Andy Says:

    “Jeff Wartman Says:

    March 26th, 2008 at 1:43 am

    The ‘Fair Tax’ bandwagon is a pathetic joke.

    Why?”

    Because it doesn’t reduce the size of government. It fails to address the real problems, fiat currency and run away unconstitutional spending. It simply changes the method of extortion. It also creates a big mess with government tracking purchases and welfare style rebate checks.

    In addition to this it would be more difficult to avoid than the income tax. There is also a better than average chance that we could end up with an income tax and a “Fair Tax” (National Sales Tax).

    Boortz is contolled opposition. He’s the equivalent of those socialist/commie types that you encounter at peace marches.

    Boortz and his “Fair Tax” are meant to steer people away from the real solutions which are to shut down the Federal Reserve and end fiat currency and to cut government spending. Then there would be no need for an income tax or a “Fair Tax.”

  56. Dave Williams Says:

    FairTax, Flawed Tax
    By BRUCE BARTLETT
    August 25, 2007

    An excerpt;
    “Perhaps the biggest deception in the FairTax, however, is its promise to relieve individuals from having to file income tax returns, keep extensive financial records and potentially suffer audits. Judging by the emphasis FairTax supporters place on the idea of making April 15 just another day, this seems to be a major selling point for their proposal.

    Yet all but six states now have state income taxes. So unless one lives in one of those states, this promise is an empty one indeed. In short, the FairTax is too good to be true, and voters should not take seriously any candidate who supports it.”

  57. Andy Says:

    “Gravel joining the LP is fine, but what kind of message would it send to have him, the third shoe in the DP race, run for Preisdent or even be on the LNC? It would send the message that the LP truly is not ready for prime time, so badly that we’d be running as prime candidates and advisors the major party castoffs.”

    Yes, and it is not like Gravel had anywhere near as strong a showing as Ron Paul.

  58. Andy Says:

    “Judging by the emphasis FairTax supporters place on the idea of making April 15 just another day, this seems to be a major selling point for their proposal.”

    Yes, “Fair Taxers” want to make every day that you go shopping an April 15th.

  59. Stefan Says:

    On paper a “fusion” Gravel/Barr or Barr/Gravel ticket could be interesting and potentially significant, uniting GP and LP voters, incorporating “right and left libertarians, and appealing to the huge anti-war sentiments of 70% plus, also among those that have reservations about the current “anti-war” candidates (Obama/Clinton) and Nader-Gonzalez are not destined to make any inroads. Such a ticket could take away substantial vote from the consevative side of the GOP, as well as many Independents (that are mostly anti-war and do not like either major parties) as well as Democrats and Greens.

    If Chuck Hagel would also join, a Hagel/Gravel or Gravel/hagel ticket could also be interesting. Bloomberg could fund it and IMHO he would be highly interested
    in the governorship of New York. He could also do it under the Independence Party ticket, and this could also be a fusion candidacy with the LP? Smaller parties should put their differences aside and work together to form a strong third party, which could fare very well in the elections.

  60. silver Republican Says:

    I really hate to point this out, but Gravel has the charisma of your average squirrel, and came off less as a liberating figure and more as a nut. He’s a good guy to have around for credibility maybe, but he isn’t Mr. Moneybags in fundraising either.

  61. Brad Says:

    “The fact that somebody invited the neo-con loving “Fraud Tax” pushing disinfo agent Neal Boortz to the LP Nationl Convention while Jim Duensing was stabbed in the back for inviting Dylan Avery of “Loose Change” fame to the State Chairs Conference show hows completely cluess LP National is. They ought to SHUN Boortz and welcome somebody like Dylan Avery with open arms.”

    Conspiracy theorizing isn’t exactly a good way to convince voters to support a party. The main thing that sank the Ron Paul campaign in New Hampshire was that Paul allowed himself to be associated with 9/11 “truth”, racists, and others who are automatically discredited in the eyes of 99.9% of America. Like it or not, the article by that warmonger Kirchirk did in Paul, as did all the talk about “disinfo agents.” Libertarianism has nothing to do with paranoia and the 2 shouldn’t be mixed. Fortunately, the Paul campaign fluttered out, protecting libertarianism from being buried. There is such a thing as publicity that is worse than no publicity.

    I’m glad that the LP has brought in Gravel. A party has to welcome in people who share general agreement with its ideas in order to have any chance of success. Do you see the parties that are winning elections demanding that every party member hold “pure” views? If not, then why complain about Gravel joining when it is undeniable that he is in general agreement with much of the platform.

  62. Eric Dondero Says:

    For all you Gravel doubters, you should recall sometime last year, he went out on a limb in one of the debates and staunchly endorsed lowering the drinking age to 18. His line “old enough to fight and die for one’s country, old enough to drink a beer.”

    Now that’s NOT a typical Nanny-state liberal stance. That shows he had a definite libertarian streak.

    But then again, most LP Libertarians could care about real issues that most Americans care about like drinking age laws, seat belt laws, smoking bans, ect… They’re too worried about Ivory Tower issues like whether or not the Gitmo Terrorists are getting 3 square meals a day, and full access to Koran readins and prayer rugs.

  63. Eric Dondero Says:

    Wouldn’t it be soooooo sweet to have Gravel in the debates in the Fall with Obama and McCain?

    Obama probably dreads the guy, having had to face him numerous times in the past. Imagine the look on his face when Libertarian Mike Gravel walks out on stage yet again, after so many months. Obama would turn as White, as his dreaded Grandma.

  64. Carl Says:

    Sorry folks, technically speaking Gravel is not a member of the Libertarian Party. He has some economically liberal positions; therefore, he is not in compliance with the membership oath.

    Judicial committee action should be initiated to kick him out. Should he continue to refer to himself as a “Libertarian” legal action should be filed with the nearest non-government court.

    All this talk of Nolan Charting is off the mark. You have to peg out the chart to be in compliance with the Oath. On only a small number of issues (such as abortion) is any disagreement allowed.

    http://www.freeliberal.com/archives/003272.html

  65. G.E. Says:

    No, Eric, if he had a “libertarian streak,” he would advocate abolishing the federal drinking age altogether, as there is no constitutional basis for it. It is imposed via extortionary taxes and highway-funding blackmail, so if Gravel were a “libertarian,” he would advocate the abolition of both, thereby castrating the federal government’s ability to dictate a national drinking age.

  66. BillTX Says:

    Hey, at least he’d still be better than Wayne Allyn Doof.

  67. Jerry S. Says:

    I’m not sure the LP sought out Mr. Gravel as much as the 78 y.o. sought out the LP’s ballot access in the finals Nov.4. Last I checked he had raised 300,000 + in over 18 months. Not too impressive to me.

    I liked the guy in the debates, (who couldn’t against that competition) of course when he blasted the military-Industrial-complex the msm had to ban him from any more primetime. He has officially disappeared in the msm for months now.

    Gravel joined for the nomination, don’t think it’s for any other reasons, it’s NOT.

  68. Susan Hogarth Says:

    SG on the role of the LNC:

    Ensuring that organizational missions are carried out and bringing additional resources to the LP table. Believe it or not, they don’t spend a lot of time at LNC meetings discussing the nuances of Libertarian policy. They try to ensure that resources are available to carry out that policy, though.

    In order to ensure that these ‘organizational missions’ are carried out, I think it’s important that a member of the LNC understand (and, I hope it goes without saying, support) both the organization and the missions of the Libertarian Party. It’s pretty far-fetched to think that someone who has been spending so much of his time trying to make waves in the Democratic nominating process would be in that sort of place. I don’t think a few briefings with staff or beers with Party insiders will give the needed depth and breadth of understanding, either.

    As someone in a difficult ballot-access state, I have a hard time not being suspicious that many of these folks are just dropping into the LP for the ballot line as a way to advance their own unique message. I busted ass getting signatures and handed over money to run libertarians for office, not to slap together a conservative and a liberal on a ticket and call it an averages-out-to-be-libertarian.

    sigh

    Gravel’s frontpage mentions his switch:

    http://www.gravel2008.us/

    He expands a bit:

    http://www.gravel2008.us/content/personal-message-mike

    “I look forward to advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party, which is considerably closer to my values, my foreign policy views and my domestic views.”

    Of course, he also says:

    “... the Democratic Party no longer represents my vision for our great country…. The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. ”

    Does that imply he thinks the LP is more the ‘party of FDR’ than the DP?

    blink

    This is the sort of institutional misunderstanding I mean. There’s no way in hell I want someone on the LNC - or on the staff, for that matter – who wants the LP to be the ‘party of FDR’.

    Here’s his issues pages:

    http://www.gravel2008.us/issues

    Gravel – as presently constituted – is more of a libertarian ally on some issues (war, drug war) than an actual libertarian. He will need to move and speak convincingly (and quickly) in a libertarian direction to get the support of Libertarians. I doubt that can happen at this year’s convention.

  69. Robert Milnes Says:

    Susan, I tend to agree. There might be a rush by potential candidates solely for the ballot access. Also my version of the progressive alliance does not require dems/leftists to change to libs or libs accept dems/leftists into the LP or vice versa-libs to change into greens or accept socialism. It only requires the LP & GP to coordinate their combined inclusive vote to elect a lib OR a green on every possible ballot. The “fusion” idea only involves the executive ticket to make it more acceptable to both. Case in point to make the LP ticket more acceptable to greens/dems/leftists to vote for. Hence a left-libertarian p. like I believe Teddy Roosevelt was.

  70. silver Republican Says:

    You folks really overestimate how seriously people view Gravel. Considering how large your potential right libertarian expansion could be, compared to a relatively small left potential base, avoid Gravel like the plague. He may have been a friendly diversion during the debates, but he was hardly Ron Paul; he did not prove his worth.

  71. Andrew Taylor Says:

    sigh

    Reading some of these posts reminds me of why I long ago left the Republican Party. The theocrats wanted to run off everyone who didn’t agree with their very narrow, fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity. Even though I am a practicing Protestant Christian (and I’ll keep practicing until I get it right), I don’t believe that the King James Bible is the LITERAL WORD OF GOD, or that there will be a RAPTURE, followed by the ANTICHRIST taking over the entire world (except Israel, apparently), and millions of innocent Jewish persons slaughtered in ARMAGEDDON. (It has always struck me as strange indeed that charlatans and fools like John Hagee and Rod Parsley are seen as “Judeophiles” and “Zionists,” when they believe that most Jews will be slaughtered in another Holocaust before Jesus comes back to kick arse and take names. With “friends” like these, does the Jewish community need enemies? But I digress).

    So now we have another form of fundamentalism rearing its ugly head in the Libertarian Party. Yes, yes, I am well aware of the ideological problems posed by many of those seeking our party’s nomination; I’ve posted about that in other threads on this very website. I support Dr. Mary Ruwart because she’s been a long-time party member, and there’s no question about her small “l” libertarian credentials.

    However, I have no problem with Mike Gravel joining the LP, and even getting moved to “the front of the line” (I think Stephen Gordon used that terminology) to serve in some capacity in the LP. No, Gravel hasn’t been a member of the LP as long as I have. But so what? He’s a national figure with a national (albeit small) following. He chose to join the LP and cast his political fortunes with it. So why would we want to punish him by treating him as if he has a contagious disease? That’s the kind of thinking among the theocrats in the GOP that has helped that party (thankfully) implode.

    Whether we as both small “l” and large “L” libertarians/Libertarians like it or not, the vast majority of Americans are not ideologically driven. Lew Rockwell’s site gets lots of traffic. So what? It still doesn’t compare to the numbers of mainstream news and politics sites. And those pale in comparison to non-news sites. Simply put, most people don’t give a rat’s arse or a flying flip about any of this minutiae that causes regular blood-spilling in LP circles.

    Now, I won’t support Gravel for the LP nomination. But if we are going to reach out to more people and grow this party, we’re going to have to allow people to bring their ideological baggage along with them, and do our best to educate them on those issues on which they are insufficiently libertarian—just as we have to win the war of ideas in the public square. Masturbatory posts from libertarian fundamentalists on Third Party Watch won’t do a single thing to grow the LP.

  72. Robert Milnes Says:

    Silver Republican, ok, let’s learn from the Ron Paul experience. He was zealously supported by right libs with $ but did NOT get the numbers. The large numbers available are on the left. Evidently a LOT of leftists do not support or vote for leftist candidates. They wind up voting dem. THEY are the ones the LP could target.

  73. Sean Scallon Says:

    Bob Barr had some interesting things to say about Gravel’s move to the LP:
    according to politics1.com:

    “Now, here is where it gets really interesting. Former GOP Congressman Bob Barr quickly issued a statement welcoming Gravel to the LP: “It is a distinct honor to have another former member of Congress within the Libertarian Party. Just as Senator Gravel believes Democrats have lost touch with the American public, I too concluded Republicans had lost their core principles, and could no longer associate myself with the GOP. While coming from opposite sides of the aisle, Senator Gravel and I definitely agree on the fundamental need for systemic change in our political system, and that the only way we have of effecting that change is by supporting and working in the Libertarian Party, which is the only political party in America that consistently works in word and deed to maximize individual liberty and minimize government power.” Is this the launch of a Barr/Gravel or Gravel/Barr national ticket for the Libertarian Party?

    Barr-Gravel would be a very potent ticket. Libertarians now have the opportunity to have a real impact in this race instead of being a footnote.

  74. Tom Bryant Says:

    The more normal people we can get into the party, the less America will associate the LP with paranoid conspiracy theorists, 9/11 Troofers, and other whackjobs.

  75. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Andrew,

    I don’t think anyone has suggested ‘running off’ Gravel. It’s a bit tiresome that a suggestion that someone who is clearly unlibertarian on many positions should not be placed in a leadership position within the party is interpreted as “punish[ing] him by treating him as if he has a contagious disease”.

    But remember – Gravel says he is interested in “advancing my presidential candidacy within the Libertarian Party” – not “serv[ing] in some capacity in the LP”.

    So here’s the situation as I see it: a guy who agrees with the LP on a couple of important issues and is obviously either ignorant or of uncaring of the libertarian understanding of other important issues publicly joins the Party in the middle of a massively unsuccessful campaign for president in another party after having (as far as I know) no connection with the LP. Instead of asking how he can fit in, and what he can do to help make the LP more successful, he says he’s leaving the other party for the LP because the other party isn’t Rooseveltian enough for him. Hello?! FDR is the anti-libertarian; possibly the single most unlibertarian US president ever, and certainly in this century. And he adds he’s joining the LP to “advanc[e] my presidential candidacy”. This seems to call for at least a healthy dose of skepticism along with the hearty ‘welcome!’ that anyone joining the LP should get.

    Oh, and I forgot: FIRST he endorsed a GP candidate. Then he started this LP business after making a public comment to a reason writer implying that the LP and libertarians represented a nice pot of money for a presidential aspirant. And some folks think it’s a good idea to pop him onto our governing board!

    If someone who used to be a school board member shows up a county party meeting and says he’s decided the LP is for him because it’s really a great place to be if you love FDR the way he does, and incidentally he is running for county commission as a Democrat but doing abysmally but he’d love the votes of Libertarians and here’s-my-card, would you be inclined to offer him a spot on the county party’s governing board, or would you be a bit skeptical? I wouldn’t advocate running him off, but I’d sure want to see a bit more commitment and growth from him before I asked him to help govern the party

  76. Roscoe Says:

    Most members of the LNC should be there for their organizing and administrative abilities. That said, the LNC has frequently had an at-large member or two who were popular ideologues – Rothbard comes to mind – who were useful in drafting resolutions and such. If whatever region Alaska is in wishes to elect Gravel to the LNC that is their choice, just as Barr’s region did. I’d much rather have an LNC regional rep who created a vibrant state LP and now wants to travel the states in his or her region, building and encouraging activity, and report up to the LNC what the members want the Party to accomplish. (I’m told too many regional reps over the years haven’t been real helpful in such.)

    Should Angelina join the LP, however, I’d hope Bill Redpath would put her directly under him!

  77. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Should Angelina join the LP, however, I’d hope Bill Redpath would put her directly under him!

    I looked up “double entendre” in Wikipedia, and this was given as an example.*

    • not really. But it should have been.
  78. Jake Z Says:

    Like I have stated previously I am not a LP member, but a Gravel supporter so right off the bat you would have someone not interested at all in the LP party but willing to donate money and time for Gravel/LP party, but let’s all be honest it comes down to business.

    What’s wrong with support Jesse Johnson for the GP nomination? First, we all kno McKinney is going to win it, but even better is do you see any Perrot money worth people running for Third Party Nominations/Endorsements? For a third party candidate for president to ever win they are going to need to get a few endorsements from various parties such as what Gravel is trying to do.

    Second, Milnes said it perfectly. I am tired of hearing how the MSM didn’t give Ron Paul a fair shot….I call BS! He had more money in the bank to spend on Super Tuesday then any other candidate, but was completly ripped apart. He spent more time in Maine, but came in 3rd. His campaign managers had no clue what they were doing. The right was able to gather RP money, but not votes.

    As a member of the RP I am telling you right now I would not vote RP and go with the LP and help Gravel if he received the nomination because he is a mixture of all the third parties.

  79. Heather Meyer Says:

    I have been a long-time fan and supporter of Senator Gravel. While I can totally understand his desire to leave the party that has treated him with so much undeserved disrespect, what I don’t understand is how his dedication to universal health care fits into Libertarian policies – aren’t those conflictive principles? Or is the Libertarian party open to such ideas?

    Nonetheless, I’m happy to see this great American hero get the respect he deserves. Whenever I hear people take up the nonsensical argument about experience when comparing the two Democratic candidates, I think Senator Gravel mops the floor with the others with his experience In times like these; who better to be president than somebody that single-handedly ended a war, and fought for our right to know (government transparency) all the way to the Supreme Court? Considering the issues of today, I can’t think of more pertinent experience a candidate could possibly have.

    Bravo to the Libertarians for embracing Senator Gravel!

  80. Andrew Taylor Says:

    Ms. Hogarth,

    Thanks for your intelligent and thoughtful post. I appreciate what you wrote, as well as the winsomeness with which you wrote it. As an aside, I greatly enjoy your blog, and I consider myself an admirer of yours, especially your many faithful years of Libertarian activism. A couple of points of clarification:

    1. As I wrote earlier, I cannot and will not support Gravel for the LP nomination, although I will definitely vote for him if he is the eventual LP nominee. I wrote what I wrote prior to his announcement that he is seeking the LP nomination. If all Gravel is about is Gravel, and he has no interest in doing anything but “using” the LP, then screw him and the horse he rode in on. But, at this point, that remains to be seen.

    2. I agree that his endorsement of the GP candidate is problematic, but view it as little different than Ron Paul’s statement of affection for and affinity with Dennis Kuchinich. Paul made those comments while running for the GOP nomination; Gravel made his while seeking the Democrat Party’s nod, and before entering the LP. Probably his thinking goes something like, “Look, if you can’t vote for me as the Democrat/LP nominee, vote for this guy for the Green Party nomination.” I’m not in agreement, but I can understand the possible thinking behind such a statement.

    3. I hope I’ve made it clear from posts here at TPW and over at Hit and Run that I do not want to see the LP “watered-down” simply in an effort to attract growing numbers of persons into the party. Simply put, I’m delighted that Gravel chose to join us, and hope that his becoming a Libertarian means that he will become a consistent Libertarian over time, and shed the baggage of his liberal Democrat history.

    Whether or not he will do that remains to be seen. But, at this point, I say let’s welcome him with open arms. And if he is asked to serve in some capacity in the LP, well, why not? It would be best to make him the front-man for the party in the public on those issues on which he is clearly a Libertarian, and put Barr out in front on those issues no which he is clearly a Libertarian.

    Would I prefer someone like Dr. Mary Ruwart, who’s consistently Libertarian across-the-board? Of course! But, sad to say, Dr. Ruwart’s announcement didn’t get immediate play in the Associated Press or the New York Times, as Gravel’s did. If nothing else, he’s reminded the entire nation that there is another party out there, as well as given those who found him compelling and interesting in the Democrat primary to check us out. And that’s not a bad thing overall, in my view.

    Does Gravel have the potential to do to the LP what Pat Buchanan did to the Reform Party? Unfortunately, yes. But I think the LP can welcome him and do so in a way that prevents the fratricidal/sororicidal nonsense that occurred to the RP. I hope so, anyway.

    Thanks again for your post and all that you have done, and continue to do, for the cause of freedom and liberty.

  81. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Andrew,

    Stop being so gentlemanly – it confuses me ;-)

    At any rate:
    Does Gravel have the potential to do to the LP what Pat Buchanan did to the Reform Party? Unfortunately, yes. But I think the LP can welcome him and do so in a way that prevents the fratricidal/sororicidal nonsense that occurred to the RP.

    Suggestions as to how to go about this are most welcome. I’d say the general cluelessness Gravel’s comments get him off to a start within the LP that makes Bob Barr’s entry look smooth by comparison.

  82. Andy Says:

    “Tom Bryant Says:

    March 26th, 2008 at 9:54 am
    The more normal people we can get into the party, the less America will associate the LP with paranoid conspiracy theorists, 9/11 Troofers, and other whackjobs.”

    The 9/11 Truth Movement has grown far larger than the Libertarian while during the same time period the LP shrunk.

    So much for your crazy theory.

  83. Andy Says:

    “Conspiracy theorizing isn’t exactly a good way to convince voters to support a party. The main thing that sank the Ron Paul campaign in New Hampshire was that Paul allowed himself to be associated with 9/11 “truth”, racists, and others who are automatically discredited in the eyes of 99.9% of America.”

    The ENITRE Libertarian Party platform is based on conspiracy theories, and it ALWAYS has been.

    The government conspiracy that the War on Drugs is a good thing. The government conspiracy that Social Security is a good thing. The government conspiracy that government run education is a good thing. The government conspiracy that the welfare state is a good thing.

    Government itself IS a conspiracy!

  84. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Heather asks:

    what I don’t understand is how his dedication to universal health care fits into Libertarian policies – aren’t those conflictive principles? Or is the Libertarian party open to such ideas?

    I think every Libertarian would be happy with universal health care – but only if it’s provided on a purely voluntary basis :)

    At any rate, yes, I think Gravel has many ideas that in conflict with libertarian principle. He may be re-examining some of those ideas right now, and I hope that you will join him in that exercise. Even if you still disagree in the end, it’s always good to re-examine your beliefs. I used to advocate socialized health care myself, but now reject it as I see it as requiring the forcing of some people to care for others against their will.

    Mainly, I just wanted to say ‘hey’ because I approve of you use of the word ‘conflictive’. :)

  85. Andrew Taylor Says:

    Susan Hogarth: “Suggestions as to how to go about this are most welcome. I’d say the general cluelessness Gravel’s comments get him off to a start within the LP that makes Bob Barr’s entry look smooth by comparison.”

    LOL! Sad to say, you’re probably right.

    As far as suggestions go, it seems to me that Gravel should reach out to mainstream, long-time Libertarians, especially Dr. Mary Ruwart. I think she is one of the most articulate and intelligent advocates (no pun intended) for libertarianism. I think she could help him see that the results he wants to achieve with his non-libertarian policy prescriptions are actually better served by libertarian approaches instead.

    And, hey, there’s this very smart lady down in North Carolina who used to hold some leftist views…she would be a good person to have on board, too. :wink:

  86. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Now there’s a thought… me offer to help Gravel. Interesting. I’ll consider that.

  87. Brian Miller Says:

    Senator Gravel will bring a lot of supporters who have 80% overlap with the LP platform. He’ll also provide a welcome counterbalance to the crazy-right fringe folk in the LVMI and Ron Paul Newsletter camps.

  88. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    If all Gravel is about is Gravel, and he has no interest in doing anything but “using” the LP….

    ####

    And why can’t we exploit Gravel?? I would LOVE to have Senator Gravel tape a radio endorsement for me (in my Congressional race) to run on my local AirAmerica station.

    PEACE
    Steve

  89. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Steve writes:

    I would LOVE to have Senator Gravel tape a radio endorsement for me (in my Congressional race) to run on my local AirAmerica station.

    GREAT idea. Ask him! Please let us know what his reply is.

  90. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    I’m a pro immigration, pro choice, anti Iraq/Afghanistan war libertarian. I may hold some “extreme” views in casual environments within libertarian circles, but in reality, I think we need a moderate and big tent Libertarian Party. But I think any LP politician pushing for ANY kind of regulation should be kicked out of the party, the regulations is what benefits the elitists of this country.

  91. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Here’s why marijuana remains illegal.

    1. no real marijuana lobbyists

    2. it’s not a mainstream issue, so most politicians just ignore the issue and they leave it prohibited because they don’t have any incentive to decriminalize it.

    It’s sad. but that’s how corruption works in America.

  92. Andy Says:

    “1. no real marijuana lobbyists”

    I thought that Bob Barr started working as a lobbyist for Marijuana Policy Project ( www.mpp.org ).

  93. Conrad Says:

    “what I don’t understand is how his dedication to universal health care fits into Libertarian policies – aren’t those conflictive principles? Or is the Libertarian party open to such ideas?”

    There are goals, and then there are methods to achieve those goals.

    Certainly the Libertarian Party is open to finding ways to enable everyone to get the health care that they need. But where big-government folks look for places where they accuse the “market of failing” and correct them with more big-government mandates and programs, Libertarians generally look for places where the government is making things worse and try to reform those things. This means taking on big medicine though: patent reforms, forcing insurance companies to honor their contracts, ending the artificial limits on the supply of doctors – all these things will require taking on a lot of entrenched special interests…

  94. GravelKucinichPaulNader Says:

    DNC/RNC have exposed themselves.
    Clintons v McCain = Clintons.
    Dynasties & Coronations.
    Not this time – not even as VP…

    gravel kucinich paul nader
    cynthia mckinney too

    dare speak truth
    demand peace

  95. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    Susan-

    Here is the reply I received a few minutes ago:

    Senator Gravel would be very interested in endorsing L candidates; how do you propose he help?

    Skyler

    I’m starting to like the guy a lot more, now!! Any suggestions on how to reply?

    PEACE
    Steve

  96. Left-Libertarian Anarchist Wacko Says:

    Just throwing this out there, but I am one of the more radical libertarians (a la Rothbard) and I STILL think Mike Gravel joining the LP will do more good than harm to the Party and himself. So what if he’s not a perfect libertarian? Neither is Ron Paul. Neither is Bob Barr. I don’t hate either of THEM. Plus, the media has largely (and oh-so-mistakenly) conflated libertarianism with fringe conservatism. Having someone like Gravel on the LNC might help debunk this image.

    We might even be able to revive the “hippie-leftist”/libertarian alliance that Rothbard forged during the Vietnam War to combat the Iraq War.

    That said, I would not support him for the LP nomination unless he (genuinely, not opportunistically) renounced his position on government-mandated health care and instead targeted the true cause of our health care problems which, as Conrad pointed out, is the fact that business interests use government regulation to stifle the influence of free-market competition. Still, from what I’ve read of Gravel, he would be perfectly willing to take on these special interests if we could convince him that this is the best way to tackle the health-care problem.

    Peace, and always remember, TANSTAAFL.

  97. Neil Kiernan Says:

    As one of the people who took part in making this happen, I would like to ask people to think realistically. No party ever gets candidates they agree with 100%. If the Libertarians are ever going to really get off the ground an attitude of concentrating on some of the issues that you all agree on is going to be nessacary. How can you ever hope to win people over to your party if you close your doors before they even have a chance to see what’s inside? Think about how many Democrats who supported Mike Gravel are now going to take a good look at what your party has to offer?

    The campaign for liberty is going to require that Americans from ALL parties come together. Your party now has a man who many feel singlehandedly ended the Viet Nam War. Who philibustered the end of draft. He is a national hero. If you don’t agree with all of his policies then wouldn’t it fall to you to help him? To constructively debate with him? Maybe win him over? Don’t you think that would be a lot more constructive an answer to the problem then flaming him before he even gets a chance to speak?

  98. Alex Peak Says:

    “Left-Libertarian Anarchist Wacko” writes,

    Just throwing this out there, but I am one of the more radical libertarians (a la Rothbard) and I STILL think Mike Gravel joining the LP will do more good than harm to the Party and himself.

    Likewise and likewise.

    In fact, I agree with every word in your entire post, not just the ones I quoted above.

    Mr. Kiernan writes,

    As one of the people who took part in making this happen, I would like to ask people to think realistically. No party ever gets candidates they agree with 100%.

    Had Mr. Gravel gotten the nomination of the Democratic Party, I would have held my nose and voted for the Democratic Party. I like—and definitely respect—the guy that much. But when it comes to voting for a candidate running under the Libertarian banner, especially for high office, I need the candidate to be much more in line with my views. What’s the point in having a Libertarian Party if our presidential candidate wants government health vouchers, minimum wage, social security, and a national sales tax? I agree with you that he’s a national hero, and will say that I adore him, but I have my standards.

    Mr. Gravel has the potential to become libertarian—many of his views already are—and I hope that with his being around libertarians, he will begin to adopt more libertarian viewpoints. Maybe by 2012, he would be sufficient to be our standard bearer. For the time being, I heartily welcome him into our party, but will not vote for him for president. :)

    Respectfully yours,
    Alex Peak

  99. John Says:

    Great news that Gravel has joined the Libertarian Party who is he going to have for a running mate. I think that former Congressman now libertarian Bob Barr shouls be a running mate for Gravel. I’m going to vote third party if that Hilary Clinton gets the Democratic Party nomination and I just might vote Libertarian and the answer is simple they want to end the War in Iraq.

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